As God is our witness, we’re going to stop wrting about trials. Every time we start there’s a new twist and turn. The latest? The defense has changed pleas, admitting what we’ve known all along, that Bradley is a leaky traitor. The defense has pled out on about half the charges (the less serious half). As we understand it (remember, we’re weapons guys here, not law guys), there are no guarantees on this. It’s a plea, not a plea deal.
The prosecution can choose to dismiss the remaining charges, or they can pursue them. The remaining charges, including Aiding the Enemy, are the ones that can net the Military Intelligence poster child life in Leavenworth. The ones he has pled to already guarantee him several years in there, but max out at 16 years.
If the prosecution pursues the other charges, the judge may at her option dismiss them. There is a strong incentive for judges to do this, for if they dismiss all the contested charges and sentence only on the admitted charges, the defendant can’t contest the findings of guilt on appeal, eliminating or at least greatly reducing the possibility of reversal. The partial plea was a bold tactical move and likely reflects the defense’s conclusion that their case is an absolute loser, especially after Manning’s sniveling performance on the stand today. That the prosecution gave up nothing for these 16 or so admissions of guilt suggests that the prosecution also thinks the defense case is an absolute loser.
In other words, Manning is guilty of all charges, everyone knows it, and what’s left is a canned procedural and dispositive minuet, done only to run the lawyers’ meters. It will arrive at a compromise position that even now probably is understood completely and thoroughly by the attorneys on both sides. But the meter needs to be fed.
End of Update
Bradley Manning has taken the stand in his court case, in pre-trial motions, essentially whinging about how his jailers have been so bad to him, and that prison is unpleasant. That this last fact was apparently a shock to his disequilibriated system may give you some idea how out of touch he is. He is a Unique And Special Snowflake, and don’t you forget it.
He said that he was initially given little or no information about the charges against him.”My nights were my days and my days were my nights,” Manning said. “It all blended together after a couple of days.”
Manning said he was confined to a structure he called a “cage” just eight feet square located inside a tent. He suffered a breakdown about a month after his May 2010 arrest, and guards later found a noose in the cage. Manning had made the noose but failed to recall he had done so because he was so disoriented, he said.
“I remember thinking Im going to die stuck here in this cage,” Manning said. “I thought I was going to die in that cage. Thats what I saw – an animal cage.”
Well, he hasn’t died yet. Pity.